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Shortage of gritters could seriously injure seniors as cold spell approaches, charity warns

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Shortage of gritters could seriously injure seniors as cold spell approaches, charity warns

A worrying shortage of gritters due to the ongoing lorry driver crisis could increase the risk of older people falling and seriously injuring themselves when parts of the UK are plunged into freezing temperatures this week, a charity has warned.

Some areas have struggled to get their bins collected in recent weeks due to driver shortages and now there are fears that gritting trucks – used to sprinkle salt on roads to make them safer to walk and drive in icy conditions – could next essential service are to be affected.

The problem is exacerbated by inflated salaries luring gritting drivers into the private sector, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned.

councilor David Renard, transportation spokesman for the LGA, said: l that municipalities will work proactively to plan ahead for the winter, but that gritting driver training is “a lengthy process” and therefore short-term pressures are unlikely to be addressed.

Age UK said falling is a ‘major danger’ for the elderly and a shortage of gritters ‘is a concern’.

In the UK, snow will fall this week as icy air from the Arctic blows over land, while strong winds expected over the weekend could cause widespread travel disruption.

Mr Renard said “as they do every year”, municipalities will work proactively to plan ahead and “ensure their winter shifts are as resilient as possible”.

The transport ministry said it is supporting local authorities to prepare for adverse weather conditions this winter and step up measures to tackle the crisis involving truck drivers.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the total number of employed truck drivers fell by about a sixth between June 2017 and June this year, from 321,000 to 268,000.

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A DfT spokesperson said: l: “We continue to provide support by maintaining a national emergency salt reserve and by taking a series of measures to increase the number of truck drivers.

“Our measures are working, with a huge increase in the number of professional permits issued and truck testing performed compared to pre-pandemic.”

But Mr Renard said that while councils are keen to work with the government and partners to support more training for local government truck drivers, it is unlikely to make a difference in the short term as the country enters winter.

Age UK has said the shortage of gritter drivers is a “concern” for older people who could slip on roads and sidewalks when temperatures drop.

“Falls are a major hazard for older people, especially in winter when it can be slippery and harder to see uneven sidewalks and curbs in dingy light,” said Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director. l.

“It’s all too easy to slip while crossing an icy or snowy road and cause yourself serious damage, so from that point of view the reported likely shortage of gritters is a concern.”

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Shortage of lorry drivers: Trash piles up on UK streets due to canceled and delayed bin collections

The British Motorists’ Association the AA said that grit on the road has always been a problem.

“Winter bedding can always be a bit of a lottery depending on the severity of the weather conditions and when that happens, so at night versus rush hour. Add to that the risk of staff illness at a time of year when flu is particularly prevalent,” said Luke Bosdet, AA Public Affairs. l.

Municipalities publish winter road maintenance plans that prioritize routes for gritting based on a handful of factors, including their importance and the weight of traffic.

“If a council knows it will be stretched this winter, it must manage expectations through its winter plan and parish councils,” said Mr Bosdet. “However, it has long been a common complaint that major roads are covered but side roads are not, making residential roads that take drivers straight to their homes often unpredictable.

“For many rural communities, seeing a gritter along the main roads can be a rarity anyway.”

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Here’s How McDonald’s Plans To Build A More Diverse Franchise Base

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Recognizing that initial costs represent a socioeconomic barrier to entry for some McDonald’s franchisees, the fast-service chain announced plans on Wednesday to invest $250 million over five years to provide financing alternatives designed to build up a more diverse operator base. to build.

The move is part of an ongoing journey for McDonald’s, which is under increasing pressure to address social and economic inequalities within its global system of nearly 40,000 restaurants, which are 93% franchised.

Earlier this year, McDonald’s made commitments to bring more underrepresented groups into corporate leadership and set goals to build diversity in its supply chain. The company also reported progress in achieving equal pay for women and other underrepresented groups in its own restaurants and corporate offices.

The focus on franchisees aims to build an operator base that is more reflective of the communities the restaurant chain serves.

To do that — and to attract more qualified franchisees in general — the company said it will work to make McDonald’s ownership more financially accessible to underrepresented groups, according to a post from Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s president and CEO. , viewed by Nation’s Restaurant News.

“During a period of record performance, we need to challenge ourselves – even more – to invest in the future,” Kempczinski said in a statement. “Today’s announcement to attract franchisees who represent the diverse communities we serve is fundamental to that goal and builds on McDonald’s rich history and pride in reflecting those we serve. With this action, we are taking another step forward in fostering an environment where equal opportunity is part of the lived experience for all our communities.”

The program, which will be tailored to specific markets, will seek to reduce initial equity requirements for eligible franchise candidates, the company said. McDonald’s will also leverage its network of banking partners to increase access to financing solutions.

“Access to capital remains a challenge in closing the wealth gap in the US, especially for minority entrepreneurs,” Nicole Elam, president and CEO of the National Bankers Association, said in a statement. “Efforts to remove barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs are critical to bridging that gap — providing a foundation for a life of opportunity and the creation of generations of wealth.”

In addition, McDonald’s said it will expand its franchise recruiting and training efforts across all backgrounds, including historically underrepresented groups. For example, new franchisees will be supported and mentored by more experienced operators, and the chain will learn lessons from international franchise development programs, which have built relationships with local business schools to create a curriculum for new franchisees.

In 2020, McDonald’s operators from underrepresented groups (those who identify as black, Asian, or Hispanic) accounted for 29.6% of all U.S. franchisees, and 28.9% of domestic operators are women, which, according to McDonald’s, is “more than above” the national averages.

According to data from the US Census Bureau, covering 2019, about 18.7% of employer companies were minority-owned and 20.9% were women-owned.

In recent years, McDonald’s has reported discrimination by some black operators who accused the chain of purposely placing them in underperforming restaurants.

Kempczinski also backtracked earlier this year on some comments deemed racist and insensitive following the deaths of two children in Chicago.

Contact Lisa Jennings at: [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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Facebook owner Meta says it will empower 1 crore small businesses, 2.50.000 creators in India

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Facebook owner Meta says it will empower 1 crore small businesses, 2.50.000 creators in India
Facebook owner Meta says it will teach 1 crore small businesses 250,000 creators in India

meta (formerly facebook) on Wednesday said it aims to empower 1 crore of small businesses and 2,50,000 makers in the country over the next three years through its Center for Nurturing India’s New Economy (CFINE) in Delhi-NCR. CFINE is housed in one of Meta’s largest offices in Asia which is located in the city. The new office will house several teams from Facebook, Instagram and whatsapp.

“India is not only the biggest country for Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, it is also the place where in many ways the future of the internet is being shaped. We see this office as an opportunity for us to build a space where not only our largest team in the country, but will also be a space that is deeply involved with the outside world,” Facebook India (Meta) Vice President and General Manager. Ajit Mohan told reporters.

He added that CFINE – a multi-purpose center – will bring all its products and efforts together and that its mission will be to use technology and tools built by the company to drive growth for creators, small businesses and entrepreneurs in the world. country.

“Over the next three years, we will seek to educate and empower 1 crore small businesses and 250,000 creators through the center. We realize this is no small task, but we recognize that we have an obligation to take up the unique opportunity seize that provided by the forces of technology that are transforming India,” said Mohan.

He went on to say: “This is an opportunity in line with the openness of India’s internet and the fundamental democratic values ​​that drive the institutions we have benefited from”.

Minister of State for Electronics and IT Rajeev Chandrasekhar noted that technology is profoundly and almost irreversibly changing the trajectory of the country.

“…although there will always be a debate about harm to users and all the proliferation of problems caused by the growing internet, we need to focus on keeping the internet open, safe and trusted in all ways and for all Indians” , he added.

The minister said that the power of the internet lies in its ability to fuel new economy, entrepreneurship and innovation and to empower young people.

“We need to limit the harm to users and ensure that the internet and technology story continues to grow around the positivity that technology brings to so many people’s lives,” the minister emphasized.

Chandrasekhar said that all major internet companies have tremendous ability to influence the trajectory in good or bad ways for entrepreneurship, for citizens and even societies in general, and that technology should be used for good.

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Amazon Launches Accelerator Program to Increase Opportunity for Real Estate Developers of Color and Increase Affordable Housing

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Amazon Launches Accelerator Program to Increase Opportunity for Real Estate Developers of Color and Increase Affordable Housing

New pilot program is supported by a more than $21 million commitment from Amazon to provide real estate developers of color with education, mentorship and access to capital in Amazon’s hometown communities in the Puget Sound region of Washington state; the Arlington, Virginia area; and Nashville, Tennessee

SEATTLE, 08 Dec 2021–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced it is committing over $21 million to test a professional training, mentorship and equity financing program to promote real estate developers of color. This two-year, part-time professional development program, which is free to participants, aims to teach real estate developers of color how to advance their careers. It also aims to lower the barriers these developers may encounter when bidding on affordable housing projects. The goal of the program is to increase the number of professional real estate developers of color who focus on affordable housing and inclusive community building. This initiative is part of the $2 billion Amazon Housing Equity Fund, a commitment to create and maintain 20,000 affordable homes for middle- and low-income individuals and families in the Puget Sound region of Washington State; the Arlington, Virginia area; and Nashville, Tennessee.

This press release contains multimedia. View the full edition here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211208005225/en/

Amazon Housing Equity Fund tests new program to boost opportunities for real estate developers of color and increase affordable housing (Photo: Business Wire)

“With this accelerator program, we are laser-focused on educating emerging real estate developers of color. We want to foster their professional growth through education and training, as well as improve their access to capital, which can be elusive for developers of color,” said Catherine Buell , director of the Amazon Housing Equity Fund. “If we want to make a lasting, holistic and meaningful change in the way affordable housing is developed, color developers must be part of the solution.”

Not only are color developers underrepresented in the real estate industry, but they also lack access to the capital and resources needed to advance much-needed affordable housing projects to help their communities. According to a 2019 report by the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit research and education organization for real estate and land use experts, 5% of American members are black and 82% white, although blacks represent more than 13% of the American population. This disparity translates into a lack of diversity at the project development level, which can bar color developers from working on meaningful and lucrative housing deals as cities grow.

Amazon partners with local social impact and economic justice organizations in each region:the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) in the Puget Sound region, Capital Impact Partners in the Arlington area, and the Urban League of Middle Tennessee in Nashville—to develop curricula and networking opportunities that reflect the specific challenges facing their communities. The accelerator program will initially support up to 30 participants by providing:

  • Virtual and face-to-face classroom instruction on real estate fundamentals, affordable housing trends, public policies, and financing best practices

  • Guidance in small groups

  • Professional networking opportunities with industry leaders, researchers and established real estate developers

  • Access to capital for pre-development costs, such as construction and engineering costs; fees for permits, research and site planning; and market and feasibility studies

“Developers of color offer tremendous opportunities for creative and inclusive solutions for community-based real estate development, but systemic issues continue to create multiple barriers to their success,” said Ellis Carr, president and CEO of Capital Impact Partners and CDC Small Business Finance. “Through this program, we’re partnering with Amazon to open doors for people of color to then turn their experience into reality.”

“With Amazon’s support, we hope to bridge the knowledge gap and build a bank of color developers trusted in their communities,” said Brian Surratt, executive director of LISC Puget Sound. “These developers will then likely hire contractors and other workers of color, some of whom live in the same neighborhoods.”

Program participants are selected by each partner organization and are based on the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Identify yourself as a person of color

  • Work experience as a developer at a real estate development company or organization

  • Real estate development activities focused on the Puget Sound region, the Arlington region or Nashville

In parallel with the accelerator program, Amazon is also collaborating with Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Inc. to administer grants of up to $200,000 to qualified real estate developers of color. These scholarships are open to anyone applying to the Amazon Housing Equity Fund and needing assistance with capacity building and pre-development costs associated with maintaining and creating affordable housing in Amazon’s three focus regions.

The Amazon Housing Equity Fund is a more than $2 billion commitment to create or maintain existing housing and create inclusive housing projects through below-market loans and grants to housing partners, traditional and non-traditional government agencies, and minority-led organizations. . Since its launch in January, the fund’s commitments will maintain or create more than 5,600 affordable homes, with more investment ahead.

More information about the Amazon Housing Equity Fund as well as opportunities with this accelerator program in Washington State Puget Sound Region, Northern Virginia or Nashville, Tennessee.

About Amazon

Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession over competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Amazon strives to be the most customer-centric company on the planet, the best employer on the planet, and the safest workplace on the planet. Customer Reviews, 1-Click Shopping, Personalized Recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Career Choice, Fire Tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, Alexa, Just Walk Out Technology, Amazon Studios, and The Climate Promise are some of the things that have been pioneered by Amazon. For more information visit amazon.com/about and follow @AmazonNews.

Check out the source version at businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20211208005225/en/

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